KU’s request for expansion of South Campus goes begging
As if the failure to reclaim 2165 kanals of land under the occupation of Army in Anantnag was not enough, the authorities have given up additional 1888 kanals which the forces had sought. Meanwhile, Kashmir University’s longstanding demand for more land for its South Campus goes unheeded.
Of the 1888 kanals of land sought for unspecified “future purpose”, Army has already fenced 991 kanals and 454 kanals of prime land in Fatehgrah and Khiram Doonipaw respectively without paying the due rent.
Highly placed sources in district administration told that a team of government and Army officials measured the land and government also handed over the papers of the land to the Army.
“Government is also preparing paper for rest of 443 kanals to be handed over to the Army which makes it complete 1888 kanals. Government has not asked the Army to vacate the previous 2165 kanals and instead provided additional 1888 kanals which Army had demanded a year ago. Army is not even paying the rent for this land,” sources said.
Nearly 2165 kanals of land is under illegal occupation of Army in villages of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, reads an official document dated 21 May 2015, a copy of which lies with us. It also mentions that separate 3514 kanals of prime land is requisitioned to Army on rental basis under RAIP Act.
“No land is, however, leased to forces. The areas that cover the requisition land include Anantnag, Shangus, Doru, Pahalgam, Mattan, Larnoo,” it reads.
Sources said Army has also illegally occupied around 3000 kanals which is not in the record of government officials. “There is a huge chunk of land under the illegal occupation of Army and other forces which is not even in the record of government,” they said.
If the government succeeds to provide additional 1888 kanals to Army then the total land occupied by Army becomes 6130 kanals.
During his visit to South Campus of Kashmir University at Fatehgarh recently, Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed- who is the Pro-chancellor of the varsity—issued directions for preparing a ‘concept plan’ for establishing a paramedical Institute aimed to offer specialized training under single roof to aspirants in emergency medical services, physiotherapy-cum-rehabilitation and nursing. The university needs hundreds of kanals for its establishment as proposed by Vice Chancellor of KU, Prof Khursheed Iqbal Andrabi.
The chief minister’s directions came after Andrabi made a power-point presentation seeking establishment of a Paramedical Institute in South Campus to supplement regular healthcare with key support services like nursing, emergency medical services and physiotherapy-cum-rehabilitation.
“Extension of university campus is necessary for providing better facilities and quality education to students. We certainly need land for our South Campus and it is up to the government how and where they provide it,” Prof Andrabi said.
The Chief Minister directed Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to explore possibility of acquiring additional land for creating adequate infrastructure at the South Campus.
Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Bashir Ahmad Khan said the vacation of illegal land under Army is a matter which can be dealt by higher authorities.
“In the past meetings, government has been regularly asking Army to vacate the land and the then chief minister had also directed concerned officials to look into the matter and vacate the land but it still stands unresolved,” he added.
He said Army has fenced its land and university land is separated by walls from KU campus.
When asked whether Army is paying the rent of occupied land or not, the DC said the Army is paying rent for fifty percent of land occupied by them.
In the last Civil Military Liaison Conference (CMLC) government had asked Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to take up the issue with Army officials and get the land demarcated in presence of Army officials.
“It was decided that DC Anantnag will get the land demarcated in the presence of Army officials and defense estate officer Kashmir circle so that a clear picture is brought out regarding the land under Army and accordingly the issue will be resolved,” reads the minutes of the CMLC meeting a copy of which is with us.